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Heathrow Airport luggage chaos impacts British Airways passengers who arrived in Inverness on flight without bags


By Philip Murray

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A British Airways jet at Inverness Airport. Picture: Callum Mackay.
A British Airways jet at Inverness Airport. Picture: Callum Mackay.

Furious Highland airline passengers have slammed airport baggage chaos that left people stranded without their luggage after jetting into Inverness.

British Airways has been heavily criticised after passengers were left bagless after major issues at Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5 on Tuesday and into Wednesday.

And one passenger who was caught up in the disruption after flying though the airport to Inverness only to find their baggage missing, has slammed the lack of communication and support offered by the airlines.

Helen Homer, who lives in Beauly, said she felt "ashamed to be British" and found herself "apologising to people" on the UK's behalf after her flight took off with "no luggage on board".

She said this left some travellers in serious difficulty, with one family with three children unable to leave Inverness Airport because the child car seats their kids needed were still stuck in London.

She said: "I flew from Heathrow to Inverness last night and the plane arrived with no luggage on board due to baggage handling issues at Terminal 5.

Inverness Airport. Picture: Callum Mackay.
Inverness Airport. Picture: Callum Mackay.

"Passengers were not informed til arrival, and no BA staff were available to help passengers with urgent needs.

"We have looked at our missing baggage report and see it was actually logged before our scheduled departure time.

"I felt ashamed to be British and found myself apologising to people- all these visitors had been abandoned at Inverness Airport with no luggage and no support, and BA/Heathrow knew in advance this was happening.

"One woman was there with three children and all the car seats were at Heathrow, so she couldn’t even leave the airport. The only ‘help’ available was a couple of airport staff handing out missing luggage report forms.

"Most (or all?) flights from Terminal 5 were being delayed yesterday while we were at Heathrow, so my guess is that other flights Scotland-bound also arrived without luggage.

"I do feel it is an example of big business deliberately choosing to prioritise their their own interests over their duty of care to their customers."

Passengers affected at Heathrow also reported "total chaos" at Terminal 5, with many taking to social media to vent their frustrations while waiting for bags, only to have to leave empty handed.

They also hit out at a lack of information.

Responding to some of those complaints on Twitter, BA told one passenger: "We don't underestimate how stressful this must be. We've brought in additional colleagues to support our teams in getting bags back to our customers, so we'll get your belongings to you as quickly as possible."

One of British Airways' tweets to disgruntled passengers following the disruption.
One of British Airways' tweets to disgruntled passengers following the disruption.

They told another: "We're sorry you were unable to travel with your luggage due to a temporary technical fault that was outside of our control. This issue has been resolved and we've brought in additional colleagues to support our teams in getting bags back to our customers as quickly as possible."

Late last night, Heathrow Airport posted on its social media channels: "We are supporting British Airways with a technical issue with their Allocation System. We advise passengers to check with BA before travelling to the airport. BA passengers in Terminals 5 may be impacted & are advised to contact BA for assistance. No other airline is impacted.

Shortly after 7.15am on Wednesday they gave an update to confirm the technical issue had been resolved but warned that flights might still be impacted by the knock-on effect.

Heathrow Airport confirming the disruption to BA baggage on Tuesday evening.
Heathrow Airport confirming the disruption to BA baggage on Tuesday evening.

They said: "Earlier British Airways experienced a technical issue with their Allocation System, this has now been resolved. We advise passengers to check with BA before travelling to the airport as BA passengers in Terminal 5 may still be impacted. No other airline is impacted."


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